Thousand Island Slaw

When I was a kid one of the first things I ever learnt to make for myself to eat, apart from of course countless cakes and biscuits, was a salad that I recreated from Tootsies burger restaurant in Wimbledon village. They had the highly sophisticated, so I thought at the time, salad mix of red cabbage, grated carrot and most exciting of all – sweetcorn. I suppose that the influence had come from an American slaw, but to me it was revolutionary. And most exciting of all was there was a choice of four dressing. This was back in the day before the idea of “choice” was really embraced in restaurants. French Dressing, Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese or my absolute, total favourite Thousand Island Dressing. I loved the stuff! I still knock up “Thousand Island Slaw” as I have now named it using whatever I have at hand. My kids love it too!

Thousand Island Slaw

A selection of what you have to hand. I recon fresh sweetcorn would be lovely. Just boil the cobs and then cut down the husks to remove the kernels.

Pointed cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage etc. very finely shredded

Carrots, peeled and grated

Thousand Island Dressing

5 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. tomato ketchup

Juice of half a lemon

Dash of tobacco

Mix up the dressing ingredients and adjust to your taste. Dress the salad and serve.

Chilli Cheese Cornbread

Corn bread doesn’t usually have sweet corn in it. It is the corn from the polenta, or corn-meal which provides the corn aspect. But this version is so much better, with fresh corn on the cob, caramelised onions, cheese and chilli. A winning combination.

If you have any left, toast it in a frying pan and serve it up along side a chilli, black bean chilli, with some fried eggs and bacon or rather strangely it went very well with my Labneh with Roast Beetroot & Sweet and Sour Onions.

Chilli Cheese Cornbread   

olive oil

2 red onions

2 corn on the cob

4 large free-range eggs

325 g coarse cornmeal or polenta

250 ml full-fat milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

6 tablespoons plain flour

140 g mature Cheddar cheese

2 fresh green chillies

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly oil a loaf tin.

Peel and finely slice the onions. Melt some olive oil in a saucepan pan on a medium heat, add the onions, then fry gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until caramelised, golden and sticky.

Hold the corn cobs upright on a board and carefully run a small knife from the top of the corn to the bottom, cutting all the kernels off.

Add to the caramelised onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then mix in the cornmeal, milk, baking powder, flour, sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Grate the cheese and add. De-seed and finely chop the chillies and add along with the cooled onion and corn mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Put the cornbread into the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack or serving plate. Serve straightaway – it’s unbelievably good when it’s warm.

 

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Grilled Sweetcorn Slaw

Another salad featuring the wonder cure Apple Cider vinegar. This is quite an unusual recipe in that the slaw is lightly pickled and if there is one thing more fashionable and fashionably good for you it is pickled food.

Grilled Sweetcorn Slaw

Makes tonnes so feel free to half the recipe. Yotam Ottelenghi

100 apple cider vinegar

200ml water

¼ white cabbage, shredded (300g net)

3 carrots, julienned or grated (175g net)

1 small red onion, thinly sliced (140g net)

4 corn cobs, lightly brushed with olive oil (600g gross)

2 red chillies, finely chopped

20g picked coriander leaves

20g picked mint leaves

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Dressing:

50g mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1½ tsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

Place the vinegar and water in a small saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Place the cabbage and carrot in a bowl, pour over two-thirds of the salty liquid and set aside to soften for 20 minutes. Pour the remaining liquid over the onion and, again, set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the vegetables and onion well, pat dry, place together in a large bowl and set aside.

Place a ridged char-grill pan on a high heat and, when it starts to smoke, lay the corn over it. Char-grill for 10-12 minutes, turning so that all sides get some colour (this will create quite a lot of smoke). Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, use a large knife to shave off the corn in clumps and add to the salad bowl.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and stir gently. Add the chilli, coriander and mint, along with a grind of black pepper, give everything another gentle stir and serve.

Grilled Corn Salsa

Reading Guy’s news letter this week, reminded me about the terrible practices in non-organic farming of livestock.  Antibiotics are routinely added to livestock feed, as a preventative rather than as a cure. Surely it would be much more beneficial that farmers concentrated on ensuring the all livestock are raised in a healthy environment, rather than the use of medicines, especially as we know that we are already getting far too many antibiotics in our diets than is necessary or safe.

Obviously organic meat is going to be more costly, which may put it out of reach for many people, but there is a solution. Eat good meat, but eat less of it.  This Grilled Corn Salsa, bulks up a grilled steak and served alongside my Patatas Bravas, makes a great supper, probably even without the meat.

grilled-corn-salsa

Grilled Corn Salsa

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 large ears corn

¼ red onion, diced

3 large ripe tomatoes, seeds slightly removed and diced

1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

sea salt

juice of one lime

small bunch freshly chopped coriander

Cook the corn as I did last week on the BBQ or a griddle. Leave the husk on and grill it first until charred. Then remove the husk and strings and put it back on the grill for a little colour – 2-3 minutes – rolling to char all sides. Don’t leave it on too long or the corn will dry out.

grillled-corn-on-the-cob

Once grilled, slice corn off of the cob and add to bowl with remaining ingredients and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, chilli or lime juice to taste. Serve immediately. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days, but is best when fresh.

grilled-corn-salsa-2

Sweetcorn Fritters

Corn on the cob, is somewhat limited in it culinary uses, but once removed from the cob, it is immediately open to a world of possibilities. You can remove it raw, but I prefer to cook it on the cob and remove it afterwards. How you cook it is up to you, boiled, BBQ’d in the husk or grilled. Then you simply cut downwards with a sharp knife, and there you have it. It now looks like it comes out of a tin, but fresher and taster ever without all the salt and sugar of the tinned variety.

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Burnt Lime & Sea Salt

This fabulous recipe is from Jane Baxter, who was Head Chef in the early days of the Field Kitchen and really is worth the effort. Serve with Guacamole, a home-made fresh tomato salsa (for recipes, follow links) or just sour cream and a squeeze of lime. If you are making them for the kids, you can omit the chilli from the fritters and just spice up the salsa’s instead.

sweetcorn-fritters-2

Sweetcorn Fritters

Adapted from Riverford Farm Cookbook – Tales from the Fields by Guy Watson and Jane Baxter.   This makes a lot of fritters. You might want to half the recipe

3 corn cobs (about 400g)

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp polenta

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp crème fraîche

100 ml milk

2 tbsp butter

1 red chilli, finely chopped

½ red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

salt & pepper

Peel the husks off the corn cobs, then cook them in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain well. (Or BBQ in the husks) Cut off the kernels.

Put the flour, baking powder, polenta and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and yolk and beat together. Gradually beat in the crème fraîche and milk until you get a thick, smooth batter. Heat half the butter in a pan until brown and add it to the batter. Add the chilli, onion, corn and herbs and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and the remaining butter in a frying pan until quite hot. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

sweetcorn-fritters

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Burnt Lime & Sea Salt

I hate to say it but there is distinctly a hint of Autumn creeping into the my Riverford vegbox so I am desperate to give you some recipes this week which really soak up the last of the summer sun. Use the BBQ as much as possible until it is too late! This is a fabulous way of cooking corn on the cob. The husks protect the kernels as they steam, whilst being infused with a fabulous smoky flavour.

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Burnt Lime & Sea Salt 1

The burnt lime adds a delicious sweet and sour twist. Definitely a taste of summer, no matter what the weather!

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Burnt Lime & Sea Salt

Barbecued Sweetcorn with Burnt Lime & Sea Salt

If the weather isn’t good enough, or you don’t have a barbecue, use a cast-iron griddle or heavy-bottomed frying pan and fry the corn in their husks, with no oil. Leave them until the husks cook to a dark brown/black colour, then turn every few minutes so the whole husk is coloured, about 15 minutes in total.

4 sweetcorn cobs with the husk still on

2 limes

pinch of brown sugar

butter

flaky or coarse sea salt

Fire up the barbecue (or see above). Soak the sweetcorn cobs in cold water for 20 minutes. Throw the cobs on the barbecue and cook for about 15 minutes, turning frequently. The husks will burn but you should be left with perfect smoky corn underneath.

Cut the limes in half, sprinkle the cut side with a little sugar and rub it in with your thumb until dissolved. Press the lime on to the bars of the barbecue until lightly caramelised. Strip the corn from the husk, slather over some butter, squeeze and rub the lime over the corn and sprinkle with salt.

Corn on the Cob